Institutional mechanism

The institutional model provided for by GEO no. 202/2008 reflects the use of the powers already held under the legislation in force. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance becomes the single authority responsible for overseeing the implementation of financial sanctions.

Thus, to solve claims relating to sanctions regimes, any natural or legal person concerned is entitled to address the competent authorities provided in article 12.

As far as requests for exemptions from sanctions regimes are concerned, the mechanism provided for in art. 8 is applied.

Freezing without delay of funds or economic resources

The responsibility for "freeze without delay", under art. 24 of GEO no. 202/2008, belongs to any subject of law who is in possession of an item that makes the object of international sanctions. The possessor is required to immediately and without delay stop any activity in connection with that item, that could be contrary to the international sanctions regime, even before notifying the authorities.

Correlatively, art. 27 exempts from any liability all persons or entities that apply in good faith the provisions of GEO no. 202 / 2008.

The mechanism for freezing funds and economic resources

The Ministry of Public Finances, through the National Tax Administration, shall, by order of the Minister of Finances, block any funds or economic resources that are held, owned by or under the control of designated individuals or entities (according to art. 19, para. 1).

Administration of frozen assets is performed by the National Tax Administration (as central authority). As a rule, administration is carried out, as appropriate, by the person or entity that holds the assets / funds at the time of freezing, by the National Tax Administration or by the public institution most competent to administer that type of assets. Administration costs for frozen assets will be deducted from the amount thereof (art. 25).

Supervision of international sanctions implementation is carried out by the competent authorities according to art. 12., para. 1., point b. For the freezing of funds, implementation is monitored by the authorities and public institutions in charge of regulation, authorization or prudential supervision in the financial sector, the management structures of the liberal professions and by the National Office for Preventing and Combating Money Laundering, respectively, for individuals and legal persons, in their area of activity, under the laws in force in the field of preventing and combating money laundering and terrorist financing (art. 17, para. 1). Supervision of the implementation of international sanctions of freezing of funds to individuals and legal entities that do not fall within the competence of public authorities, as well as the control of the implementation of freezing of funds and economic resources is carried out by the Ministry of Public Finances, through the National Agency for Tax Administration (art. 17, para. 2).

Contraventions and crimes

According to art. 26 of GEO no. 202/2008, breaching the provisions of this legal act constitutes a contravention punishable by a fine of 10,000 lei to 30,000 lei and the confiscation of property used or resulted from the contravention. According to art. 26, para. 2, if the acts are committed by a person belonging to the staff of an authority or public institution, in addition to the fine, specific penalties can also be applied. It also provides the possibility of adopting a specific legal framework for the criminalization of certain breaches of international sanctions (art. 4 paras. 2 and 3).

The Interinstitutional Council is composed of representatives – at working level or, if the situation so requires, at the level of secretary of state or equivalent – of the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Interior, National Defense, Economy, Public Finances, Communications and Information Technology, Transport, and the Romanian Intelligence Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the National Bank, National Agency for Export Control, the Financial Supervisory Authority, and the National Office for Preventing and Combating Money Laundering. Depending on the nature of the international sanctions discussed, the Council may require the participation in its meetings of representatives of other authorities or public institutions (art. 13, para. 2 of GEO no. 202/2008).

According to art. 14, para. 1 of GEO no. 202/2008, the Interinstitutional Council has the following powers:

  • to ensure consultation in order to harmonize the activities of authorities and public institutions in Romania in the field of international sanctions implementation;
  • to ensure consultation between Romanian authorities and public institutions in order to fundament Romania's position regarding the adoption, modification, suspension or termination of international sanctions;
  • to prepare and issue, at the request of the competent authority, advisory opinions on the basis of decisions relating to the application of international sanctions;
  • to submit to the Prime Minister of Romania recommendations on the advisability of adopting at national level non-binding international sanctions;
  • to present whenever necessary, but at least once a year, information on measures adopted by Romania in the implementation of international sanctions, to be used in the Prime Minister’s reports referred to in art. 6;
  • to ensure, whenever possible, the dissemination of information to natural and legal persons that own or control property in connection with the imminent adoption of international sanctions under art. 1, in order to allow their implementation, from the time of the adoption and afterwards, without delay.

The Council is coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the head of the Office for Implementation of International Sanctions (art. 13 para. 3 of GEO no. 202/2008).

Competences of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

To perform the tasks arising from GEO no. 202/2008 regarding the implementation of international sanctions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

  • publishes in the Official Gazette the international legal instruments which establish sanctions (by order of the Minister of Foreign Affairs);
  • ensures the communication between the members of the Interinstitutional Council to coordinate measures for the implementation of international sanctions;
  • coordinates the preparation of the Prime Minister’s periodic report to the Supreme Council of State Defense and to Parliament on measures adopted to implement international sanctions (art. 6 of GEO no. 202/2008);
  • corresponds with other states and international organizations in matters related to the implementation of international sanctions;
  • informs international organizations that issued sanctions regimes of the measures taken domestically to implement them;
  • informs natural and legal persons concerned about the likelihood of international sanctions, where possible;
  • makes public the list of national authorities competent to implement sanctions.